Stripe fees are increasing for processing payments for cards in the EEA, affecting cross-border card transactions. The increase is due to Brexit and card network cost changes, and comes into effect on 1st July 2022.
Stripe Fees Increase
Following Brexit, the UK is no longer subject to EU Interchange Fee Regulation, meaning that card transactions between the UK and EEA are classed as cross-border payments. This means that interchange rates have increased – these are the fees paid to issuing banks set by card networks.
Visa and Mastercard have already implemented their new rates, which Stripe had previously not passed on to users. However, in order to continue to offer their services, Stripe is raising their fees to reflect the underlying costs.
New Stripe Fees
See the table below for more details:
EEA business selling to UK card holder
1.4% + €0.25*
2.5% + €0.25*
UK business selling to EEA card holder
1.4% + £0.20
2.5% + £0.20
EEA business selling to EEA card holder
1.4% + €0.25*
1.4% + €0.25*
UK business selling to UK card holder
1.4% + £0.20
1.4% + £0.20
This fee increase only affects cross-border transactions, with domestic transactions (e.g. UK business selling to UK card holders) pricing remaining unchanged.
There’s no action necessary for you, with fees automatically updating on 1st July 2022 if you have cross-border transactions that are subject to the price changes above.
If you are a Ballyhoo client and want more information, or if you are interested in having an E-Commerce website built, contact us now on 0121 295 5352 or email us at email@example.com and our friendly team will be happy to help.
First things first, we hope you are managing to stay safe and healthy.
We want to let you know that Ballyhoo are still here to support you in your online journey. Fortunately, we are in a position that allows us to continue operating as normal (more or less), which means we are able to continue to deliver the high-level of service and support that you have come to expect from us.
We’ve all had to adapt to these new times, but many businesses have had to completely rethink their models in order to continue operating. At the very least, they’ve had to accelerate their online growth.
How can you ride this wave too?
Prepare for an increase in online transactions
Many of your websites perform critical business functions and, now more than ever, are likely to be your customers’ primary point of contact.
The ongoing pandemic has forced more and more people to turn to the Internet for services that they would normally do in person: shopping; online fitness classes; medical appointments; booking tables in restaurants (when they are allowed to open); ordering takeaways; and everything in between.
The world has been transitioning online at a steady pace over the last decade or so with more and more services becoming available online. However, the recent situation has rapidly accelerated the evolution of online services and many organisations are scrambling to adopt new practices.
Your competitors are marching forward, don’t get lost in their shadow.
We can’t see this changing any time soon. Even when things go back to normal (whatever that may be), we believe that many of the services that have moved online will stay there and become the new preferred method of interaction.
It’s important that businesses don’t just ride it out and wait for things to go back to normal. Now is the time to update your online practices and ensure that your website caters to your customers so that you can continue to thrive for years to come and tackle anything that is thrown at you head on.
We can help
This might sound daunting, but don’t worry, we are here to support you. If you have any issues at all, want to discuss bringing your website up to speed or just want some help to review your online practices, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the form below.
Send us a quick message and we’ll get right back to you.
Coronavirus will permanently change shopping behaviour on and offline.
The shopping landscape both on and offline is going to shift. It already has, with the COVID-19 pandemic bringing forth unprecedented change (do you now dislike that word as much as I do?).
I’m no economist but having worked both on the shopfloor and with businesses pursuing e-commerce success, I think I have a fair insight into shopping behaviour. A decade in web design and digital marketing has certainly shown me what works online and what doesn’t.
I predict the following main shopping behaviours emerging throughout 2020 and beyond, alongside them you’ll find my recommendations on how you can capitalise on the changing landscape with e-commerce.
Apart from the essentials, many people still aren’t physically going to shops at the moment. Over the past few months, online shopping has been a lifeline for many, with sales rocketing in some sectors.
Supermarket delivery slots may have been like gold dust but they did exist, and the over 70s demographic, that may previously have typically eschewed Internet shopping, have benefited from priority booking. As lockdown eases, getting a weekly delivery or click-and-collect slot could become a habit, particularly for anyone who struggles to get out and about or is time-poor.
The supermarket is just the starting point; a plethora of shoppers who weren’t on your radar (or rather the other way around) are now looking for what they want via search engines. Whatever the reason they didn’t ‘do’ online shopping before, they do now, and hopefully they’ve also discovered that the Internet is not a scary place. With good web design and UX considerations, online shopping can be fun and easy.
Regardless of whether the person visiting your website as a seasoned online shopper or e-commerce newbie, you will still need to make sure the sales funnel is smooth and that any potential barriers to the sale have been eliminated.
What you can do
Ultimately, finding e-commerce success still largely comes down to how good your website is. Online shoppers are fickle beasts. To capture their attention, hold it and make a sale your website has to be SPOT ON.
Yes, having the best price is also a huge factor but you also need to distinguish yourself in other ways. We call them trust factors:
Is your website polished and professional?
Do you have good reviews?
Is your shipping pricing and returns policy transparent?
Are your contact details easy to find?
If the answer to any of these questions is no then you know what you need to do…
Subscription services have solidly been gaining popularity for over a decade. The likes of Graze launched in 2007 (the first subscription box that I ever tried), paving the way for more niche regular deliveries. There’s a subscription box for every taste and budget and many sites are making good profit compiling everything in one place and taking a cut when people sign up. From cheese toasties to salon-quality hair dye (my latest subscription due to the lockdown!), you can indulge on a monthly basis for a relatively low cost.
Other retailers in on the action include Amazon, who offer subscription plans that offer 5% off when you subscribe to regular deliveries of a single product, rising to 15% off across the board once you reach over 5 subscriptions – a substantial saving. There are pros and cons to this type of retailing as a consumer, which I won’t go into now, but as a retailer this is fast becoming a type of e-commerce you can’t ignore.
What you can do
If you benefit from any kind of repeat custom you are already in a good position to introduce a subscription service.
Decide whether you want to offer a discount-based subscription or offer a box-style subscription.
Note that boxes are generally only useful for small items and a varied catalogue, the main benefit of the box subscription business model being that they fit through letter boxes meaning the customer doesn’t need to be at home and the appeal continues with something new, or a variation on the theme, every month.
Offer reduced-cost trials to get customers hooked.
Click and Collect
Many retailers turned to the click and collect retail model during lockdown which involved customers being able to order online and collect items safely direct from stores.
Click and collect is nothing new but it has increased in prevalence due to the advantages of being able to collect items same-day – a kind of middle ground between online shopping and nipping out to get what you need. Prior to lockdown, we were seeing chains like Costa introduce mobile ordering for our morning coffee fix and we could see the introduction of this model accelerated across other sectors whilst social distancing restrictions remain in place. Even if you aren’t a national retailer, there’s no reason why click and collect can’t give you the edge over competitors, albeit on a local scale. I’ve even seen home-baking businesses set up tables at the end of their driveways to allow for safe cake collection.
What you can do
Assess whether click and collect is something you can safely manage from your premises, allowing for social distancing for both collection and queueing. Is sufficient car-parking available? Do you have enough PPE for yourself and staff?
Publicise this option early on in the customer journey on your website; even if you aren’t the cheapest this could give you the edge.
Ensure that this is actually a delivery option you are able to offer though your website, speak to your web developer if changes are needed.
So-called ‘preppers’ have it sussed, they’ve long been stockpiling non-perishable foods and essential goods just in case of… well, anything. The rest of us are navigating new waters where we can’t just nip to the shops when we run out of milk (actually we can, we just have to stand in a queue two metres away from the nearest human and risk catching a virulent disease whenever we touch anything).
The increase in bulk-buying and rise in popularity of long-life foods was one of the first new shopping behaviours that emerged during lockdown. We were forced to think ahead; meal planning, batch-cooking and using up leftovers. We were even getting creative with back-of-the-cupboard tins and jars that passed their best-before in 2018 (or older, yikes).
The national sense of fear that we might run out of toilet roll, which turned so many of us into stockpilers in the first few weeks of lockdown, may stay with us long after the coronavirus threat is gone. How long this crisis lasts for and how big an impression it makes on us as individuals will dictate the extent of our newfound prepping tendencies. At the very least, many have discovered that money and time can be saved by looking to the future and buying what we know we’ll need in advance.
What you can do
Consider selling items in variable quantities, making it simple for consumers, and yourself, by letting them choose from presets (5, 10, 15 etc.)
Show stock levels for each product.
Introduce bulk discounts.
For any help with the concepts and suggestions in this post, please feel free to contact our team to see if we are a good match to help you sell online. Call us on 0121 295 5352 or email email@example.com.
You can now choose to pay your invoices online as soon as we send an email requesting a payment and can even automate future payments to ensure one is never missed.
How does it work?
In order to help you get to grips with paying online, we have created a guide to show how easy it can be to set up a recurring payment.
We’ll send you an invoice, click “Pay Online” to start.
Next you will be sent to a form which allows you to see the total price and enter your billing address and card information.
After you’ve filled in your details, tick the box to save card details and automate payments – when complete, press ‘Pay Now’.
Once all your details have been verified you will receive a confirmation email that your payment has been sent.
If you need any help setting up a recurring payment, or for a one-off payment, please feel free to get in touch. Any member of the Ballyhoo team will be happy to help and can be contacted by telephone on 0121 295 5352, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact form on our contact page.
Following the introduction of the Companies Act 2006 it is now a legal requirement to display your company’s registered office address on your website. This information doesn’t have to be on every page of your website, but it must be easily found – for example on your website footer or Contact Us page.
For most basic websites there is no legal requirement to show your address on your website. However, if you sell goods or services on your website the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 dictate that you must provide your “full geographic address”, particularly if payment is taken in advance as is the norm.
If payment is taken through your website your bank or payment gateway provider may even have more stringent rules and can insist that you show both your address, company registration details and VAT registration number (if you have one of course) in their terms and conditions.
What Do We Suggest?
We actually believe and always advise our customers that it is beneficial to show an address on any corporate website to add credibility to your business. If you are not happy showing your home address then a compromise could be to set up a PO Box or a virtual office. We feel it is important to take every opportunity to give visitors to your website confidence in you and your business, therefore increasing the chances of them getting in touch or placing an order. We put huge efforts into driving traffic to a website but many people forget the simple things that can help make a website successful.
Birmingham web design agency Ballyhoo have recently launched a new e-commerce website for Walkover Sprayers, a South Wales manufacturer of unique lawn treatment equipment and accessories.
Walkover Sprayers have worked with Ballyhoo, a Birmingham web design agency, for many years to help sell their products online and keep their website up-to-date. In late 2012 Walkover Sprayers commissioned Ballyhoo to produce a new version of their website to bring it in line with modern web design techniques and introduce new features for their customers.
At walkoversprayers.com South Wales manufacturer Walkover Sprayers sell a range of spraying equipment, garden treatments, parts and accessories. Their spraying equipment works on the principle that the spraying nozzle is powered purely by the motion of the wheels as the user walks forward, meaning there is no need for an external power source. All walkover sprayers and parts are made in the Walkover Sprayers warehouse in West Glamorgan, UK and are used by gardeners and groundskeepers in gardens and sporting facilities worldwide.
Walkoversprayers.com, based on Ballyhoo’s e-commerce engine Ballyhoo Commerce, was first duplicated to a temporary online development environment where the new website could take shape without affecting the live site. The e-commerce system was then upgraded to the latest available version (meaning a host of new features would become available, including auto-complete search and saved orders) and a custom design by Ballyhoo’s graphic designer was implemented. After being thoroughly tested for consistency and accessibility in all major internet browsers the website was ready to launch.
Walkover Sprayers are also undertaking an online marketing strategy with Ballyhoo to improve website traffic and conversions whereby a number of techniques are being employed to increase the website audience and turn visitors into customers. With a strong background in e-commerce web design and SEO, Ballyhoo were the perfect choice to trust with this task.
Ballyhoo managing director Anthony Chaffey is quoted as saying, “I’m very proud of the new walkoversprayers.com website which is a vast improvement on the site we first developed for them some years ago. We’ll be on hand to support them as their needs evolve and we hope to continue working on and promoting the site for many more years to come.”
More information on this e-commerce web design project and other recent projects can be found in Ballyhoo’s online portfolio at www.ballyhoo.ltd.uk/Portfolio.html.
About Ballyhoo Ltd:
Ballyhoo provide website design, e-commerce, online marketing and hosting services to companies throughout the UK in addition to developing their own e-commerce engine and content management system.
Version 1.9.23 of Ballyhoo Commerce gives you the power to harness customer reviews, add banners across your entire website and better utilise discount codes to drive sales. Read on to find out more!
Feefo Order Feed
Online reviews are becoming a massive influence on the buying process and the power of this media should not be underestimated. To help our customers harness and effectively apply their own reviews we have now integrated Ballyhoo Commerce with Feefo, the independent customer feedback system.
Feefo is a third-party tool that is used to collect genuine customer reviews about your customer service and products. The entire process is automated and feedback can be shown on your website. Feefo also gives you the opportunity to demonstrate excellent customer service by allowing you to publicly respond to any negative feedback.
Furthermore, Feefo has great search engine optimisation benefits and directly contributes to your Google seller rating (the star rating that appears next to your Google Ads and Google Shopping listings).
As part of our integration, every half an hour Ballyhoo Commerce will automatically generate a list of new orders to send to Feefo for processing. Feefo will then contact your customers for their feedback and, once this is provided, your reviews will be displayed on their website.
To ensure Feefo is used to its best ability Ballyhoo has become a Feefo partner, meaning we have all the skills to configure and manage your Feefo account and help you make the most of it. Please note that Feefo requires an ongoing monthly investment and a set up fee will also be charged. For more information on this service give us a call on 0121 295 5352.
If you think you’ve got great service and products, prove it!
Site Alert Banner
On request, we have now added the ability to add a site-wide banner to your e-commerce website. This appears across the top of every page on your website and the text is fully customisable in the Content Manager of Ballyhoo Commerce.
Here are just a few ideas of how you could use this new feature:
“Merry Christmas from all the team at Ballyhoo!”
“Enter discount code BALLYHOO2014 at the checkout for an extra 10% off!”
“Low stock – delivery due in 1-2 weeks.”
“Ballyhoo will be closed between 1st May – 10th May for essential maintenance.”
Limited Discount Codes
Discount codes can be effectively used to drive new sales on your website and encourage repeat custom (see our blog Why You Should Use Discount Codes). In some cases they can even make the difference between a sale or a fail.
To give you further control over this powerful selling tool, we’ve expanded the functionality of our Discount Codes manager to allow you to limit the number of times a discount code can be used.
We’ve thought of a number of ways this can be effectively employed:
Promotions “The first 10 customers to use this code will receive 50% off.”
The first benefit of a promotion of this type is that it will drive customers to your website, especially people who may not ordinarily have visited. Secondly, customers who don’t put their order through in time to receive the discount may still make a purchase – if they’ve gone to the effort of getting to know your products, imagined owning them and added them to their basket they are now emotionally invested and may still choose to place the order at full price.
Create a one-off discount code to tempt a customer into placing a large order or to compensate an unhappy customer. In these situations the discount is likely to be high so you can limit the discount code to just one use. This prevents losses if the discount code is spread around the web or if the customer tries to use the code more than once.
From order confirmations to website usernames, we all rely on email. Our emails let us know what’s happening across our lives, both online and increasingly offline, and we often use our addresses to grant us access to the many online services we sign up to. But what happens if you enter your email address incorrectly?
Quite simply, if you enter the wrong email address during the registration process you won’t receive important emails about your purchase or service and when you do come to try and access your account you may encounter difficulty and, at the least, wasted time.
To try and prevent this happening to your customers we have added an email validation function to Ballyhoo Commerce. Email validation checks the formatting of the email address the user enters to ensure it matches the standard format email@example.com. While this doesn’t guarantee against the user typing the text part of an email address incorrectly, it will draw attention to common mistakes like using an apostrophe instead of the @ sign and forgetting to put the dot before .com.
More New Features & Improvements!
Price By Length Improvements
The length field is now empty as default and an error message is displayed to the customer if they add the product to their basket without entering a value.
The Ballyhoo Commerce system will now attempt to tidy user submitted values to ensure you have clean and consistent text, notably on invoices. If needed the system will add and remove capital letters where appropriate, e.g. if all lower- or upper-case text has been used.
Add Weight to Product Variant
Item weight is used to correctly calculate shipping values. To ensure this is accurate we have added the ability to specify the weight of a product variant where this would previously have used the value of the primary item.
In Version 1.9.22 of Ballyhoo Commerce we’ve introduced new features and improvements across a number of areas of the e-commerce system, including saved orders, pricing, auto-complete search, blogging and our new Tradebox integration.
Automatically Saved Orders
Abandoned orders can be very frustrating for online retailers; someone has chosen to visit your website out of hundreds of others, gone to the effort of adding products to their basket and then… nothing. Unfortunately, it’s rare you’ll be able to find out exactly why they haven’t completed their order, however genuine the reason, but with our latest e-commerce feature we hope you’ll see an increase in the number of customers returning to finish their purchase.
We gave customers the ability to save orders for later back in Version 1.9.19 and have since improved this feature in subsequent versions, most recently allowing you to specify how many days you want orders to be saved for and adding automated reminder emails to let customers know their saved orders are due to expire.
From this version onwards we will also now automatically save orders that aren’t completed within 2 hours of the first item being added to the shopping basket. To allow this the customer needs to have logged in or registered as a customer prior to the order being saved due to inactivity, so this is very much geared towards those users who have committed to the sale but have genuinely had to stop in their tracks (perhaps due to a family emergency or connectivity problems, who knows?).
An email notification will be sent to the customer to let them know the contents of their basket have been saved at current pricing and we will then follow the normal saved order procedure, e.g. with email reminders sent at regular intervals, until the order expiry date.
Following the launch of our Tradebox integration in the last version of Ballyhoo Commerce we have used customer comments to improve this feature. Your feedback is integral to the ongoing advancement of this e-commerce system so we encourage you to let us know your thoughts whenever you can – no matter how trivial the issue may seem!
Pricing should be transparent when you are shopping online but sadly on many e-commerce websites customers are still caught out at the checkout stage when additional charges like VAT and delivery are added.
We are committed to making additional charges crystal clear. We already show the customer everything they’ll be charged on the main shopping basket page but now we’ve also re-worked the shopping basket summary (the part of your website on every page that shows the customer how many items are in their basket and the total value) to show the final price the customer will pay at the checkout too. Goodbye nasty surprises.
Auto-complete Search Enhancements
The addition of our auto-complete search facility meant that customers could find the product they were looking for within seconds of typing the first few letters of their search query. We’ve now enhanced this so that the system searches products by variant too so the customer has even more chance of finding what they want on their first search attempt.
Product variant results will be shown on both the auto-complete search drop-down selection and on the main search results page.
New Blog Features
If you’re using the blogging abilities of Ballyhoo Commerce (in the Content Manager) you’ll be pleased to hear that we’ve added a few new features for you in this version too.
We will now be able to add custom styling to blog posts (when we upgrade your website or develop a new Ballyhoo Commerce website from scratch), you’ll have the ability to change the published date of your blog posts and the first paragraph of your post will automatically be shown as a content excerpt on the parent Blog page.
We believe the latest version of Ballyhoo Commerce could revolutionise the way you manage orders.
Our e-commerce system is now fully integrated with Tradebox, a Sage Certified desktop application that seamlessly unites your e-commerce website with your Sage accountancy software to make e-commerce order management an automated and effortless experience.
Tradebox E-Commerce Integration
Tradebox Finance Manager is a desktop software application that seamlessly ties together your selling channels with Sage Accounts. This allows Sage to become an effective order management solution, giving you control over all the orders you receive online in one location.
Tradebox is Sage Certified meaning it has met stringent third-party software tests, complies with minimum requirements for installation and functionality and is always compatible with the latest available versions of Sage Instant and Sage 50.
A number of the most popular online marketplaces are already integrated with Tradebox, including Ebay, Amazon and Rakuten (play.com). Some of the biggest e-commerce systems on the market today are also fully integrated with Tradebox so we are proud to announce that Ballyhoo Commerce has joined the list meaning that our customers can enjoy the many benefits of Tradebox too.
Tradebox essentially pulls all of the order data from your website (including customer, order, shipping and payment information) and presents this data to Sage Accounts in a consistent and digestible format. This means the order data from all of your selling channels, e.g. if you’re selling on your own website and Amazon, can be reconciled so that you always have the clearest picture of how your business is performing and what needs to be done.
Even if you’re only selling through Ballyhoo Commerce this new addition to our system could save you valuable time by removing the need to manually import order data. It will also allow you to automatically create picking and packing lists and print out invoices, address labels and dispatch notes.
Important VAT Notice
In order to facilitate our integration with Tradebox, and thus Sage, we needed to change the way Ballyhoo Commerce manages VAT.
Now, we calculate VAT on the price of each product (rounded to 2 decimal places) then multiply that by the quantity sold. This is done for each item and then summed for the order total.
Please note that this change applies to upgrades to Ballyhoo Commerce Version 1.9.21 and above.
What else is new in Version 1.9.21?
Product Variant References
Ballyhoo Commerce now gives you the ability to add unique reference codes to each product variant. A major benefit of this is that products will be split by reference code in your product feed so that each variation shows up as a single product. So, if you share your feed with Google Merchant Centre, or any other price comparison engine, each variation will now be listed as an individual product.
The auto-complete search facility in Ballyhoo Commerce will also search these reference codes so if you’re selling a well-known product your customers will be able to find what they’re looking for more quickly than ever.
A number of changes had to be made to the system to accommodate our new Tradebox integration and one of the more major changes was the way we calculate VAT.
Previously, VAT was calculated on the whole order but it is now calculated on a per order line basis to tie in with the way Sage calculates VAT.
As with any new version of Ballyhoo Commerce we aim to include enhancements that will assist your search engine optimisation efforts.
In Version 1.9.21 we have improved the handling of renamed products, categories and content pages so that, if you change the name of a page or product, you don’t lose any of the progress you’ve made in your SEO endeavours.
We’ve also taken steps to ensure that only the most important pages on your website will be indexed by search engines.
Social Sharing Buttons
Social sharing buttons have been around for a long time now so we’re all used to seeing counters alongside them showing how many times a page has been liked, tweeted or +1’d.
There are a few reasons you might want to turn the counter part of the button off though – perhaps no-one is sharing your website and you want to hide this or perhaps the buttons have been added to your website retrospectively and a growing number of digits in the counters would compromise the layout of your website.
Either way, we can now show social sharing buttons with or without their respective counter statistics – just let us know if you want us to do this when we upgrade your website.
Last month we launched a new website for Walkover Sprayers, garden equipment manufacturers based in South Wales. If you haven’t seen the new website yet you can visit walkoversprayers.com to see the site in the flesh or read on to find out a little bit more.
Walkover Sprayers have been Ballyhoo customers for over 4 years and were one of the earliest adopters of our e-commerce engine, Ballyhoo Commerce. After trading online with the same website (bar a few tweaks here and there) for the entirety of this period their site understandably needed a bit of a facelift to bring it in line with modern web design trends and techniques.
Ballyhoo Commerce has also come a long way since those early days so an upgrade to the latest version of our e-commerce system was essential to provide the modern features online shoppers now expect as standard.
You can read more about how this project came together and which website features we made the most of in the Walkover Sprayers case study in our online Portfolio.
We love this website!
We’re so proud of the new Walkover Sprayers website that we’ve given them pride of place on our homepage! If you haven’t already noticed, our homepage features a range of banners promoting our recent projects and services and a Walkover Sprayers banner is now the first you’ll see when you land on our website.
We’ve also distributed a press release about the launch of this website, you can see it online via our distribution partner PRWeb.
We’d love to know what you think about the new walkoversprayers.com, let us know on Facebook or Twitter @ballyhooltd!